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tv   New Day  CNN  August 11, 2017 4:00am-5:00am PDT

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. robert mueller thinks there was evidence of a crime in manafort's apartment. >> the president is in no way deferring to vladimir putin. >> i'm very thankful that he let go of a large number of people. now we have a smaller payroll. >> this is the most ridiculous thing i have heard the president say in six months. >> this is "new day" with chris cuomo and allison. >> good morning.
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welcome to your new day. allison is off. brianna joins us this morning. if you haven't tuned in yet, she's thrown me under the bus once. >> maybe twice. >> let's see how it goes this hour. we do begin with breaking news. north korea's state news agency releasing a statement saying president trump is driving the situation on the korean peninsula to the, quote, brink of nuclear war. this comes hours after president trump doubled down on his warning to north korea saying the threat to unleash fire and fury may not have been tough enough. >> defense secretary james m mattis says despite the effort the effort on north korea is diplomatically lead. the global resources of cnn have all of this covered for you. we want to start with will ripley live for us in beijing with the latest. will. >> reporter: brianna, i want to get right to this brand new statement that has been released by north korea just within the last few minutes. the title of this statement on
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the north korean news agency is u.s. nuclear war fanatic. trump is driving the situation on the korean pe nins korean -- from 1950 to 1953 killed $3 million people and north korea tells its citizens that the u.s. almost dropped a nuclear bomb on them back then and they believe, they tell their citizens that the u.s. is ready to do it again. another portion of this article that's important, quote, all these facts go to prove that the u.s. is indeed the master mind of the nuclear threat, the heinous nuclear war fanatic. so there you go. president trump remarks really do play in the long stannistandt the united states is preparing for nuclear war.
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things are happening that might remind people of when they were growing up during the cold weer. the daily pacific in guam. 14 minutes. that's how long guam homeland security says it would take for a north korean ballistic missile to reach the island. they also are issuing fact sheets, pamphlets that they're handing out. one of the pieces of advice, do not look at the flash or fire ball. it's frightening for people to think about the possibility of a nuclear war. north korea has been making threats like this for a very long time. at this point this remains a war of words. >> let's get a little bit more perspective on: nobo that. i get you about this. this is what north korea does. they talk in in this fashion often. now you have a different dynamic where the president of the united states is matching the talk. now you see the north koreans by
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your own reporting ratcheting it up to an even higher level of talk. do you believe or have a suspicion that it remains in that sphere, or is it even slightly more likely now that there is a destabilizing influence and potential action because of the response from the united states? >> we need to watch north korea's actions in the coming days. this kind of rhetoric that we're hearing today is very familiar rhetoric from north korea. it doesn't concern me as much as what we saw earlier in the week where they laid out that detailed plan to conduct what would be their most provocative muscle test over putting those missiles over japan, flying 2,100 miles and bringing them down less than 20 miles from guam. that was alarming. if north korea does follow through with that plan, that does ratchet thing up in the region. u.s. intelligence is indicating that for now in the areas
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they're able to observe from spy satellites they do not see preparations for a north korean missile launch. they're going to give a plan to kim jong-un and then he would make the final decision . if north korea goes through with that, that does escalate the situation. if north korea continues to put out statements like this, this is familiar. this is something we have seen. from speaking with north korean officials a month and a half ago, while they're not afraid to use these, these are intended to be a deterrent to keep the united states from firing the first shot. they're saying we can do a lot of damage and kill a lot of people if you mess with north korea. that's the message they may be trying to send. august is a very tense month. the regularly scheduled joint military exercises are due to kick off this month. that is always a tense time here and north korea often does show military force through things like missile launches when the u.s. military exercises are taking place. that's why you have china right
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here in beijing, officials reiterating just within the last few hours calling for calm and caution and avoid behavior that will escalate the station and push the peninsula down the road towards an accidental war. >> that may be the actor we watch most closely. let's see if the president's tough talk makes china act differently. will ripley, thank you very much. so north korea's latest threat comes as president trump promises to continue his tough talk when it comes to the regime. cnn barbara starr joining us from the pentagon with more. he said past presidents were weak. president obama wouldn't talk about it. i will talk. where it gets us, we'll see. >> good morning, chris. here's a couple of points of reality. we are being reminded as will said, this exercise is coming up
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in the next couple days, we will see u.s. forces arrive on the peninsula regularly scheduled. they're doing an exercise. everybody knows they're coming. but it's a visual picture that may upset north korea. we also know that the president as any president would has not ruled out a preemptive strike against north korea. the united states would never rule anything out. the words are focusing on if north korea were to attack guam, what the consequences would be for the regime. the president doubling down going way beyond fire and fury. >> i read about where in guam by august 15th, let's see what he does with guam. if he does something in guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody's seen before, what will happen in north korea. >> when you say that, what do you mean? >> you'll see. you'll see. and he'll see.
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he will see. it's not a dare. it's a statement. it has nothing to do with dare. that's a statement. >> now, defense secretary james mattis taking a bit of a longer view. very much knowing the guam threat is out tlrhere, the u.s. military ready to deal with that, but also reminding everybody there is a much longer term strategy here. >> the american effort is diplomatically led. it has diplomatic traction and is gaining diplomatic results. i want to stay right there right now. the tragedy of war is well enough known it doesn't need another characterization beyond the fact that it would be catastrophic. >> and obviously the u.s. intelligence community, the u.s. military watching all of this around the clock. they are always watching. >> barbara starr at the pentagon, thank you. north korea's neighbors are caught in the cross hairs of this standoff.
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south korea and japan are used to living with intimidation from pyongyang, but now they're preparing in earn skpeest and v to retaliate. live for us in tokyo. tell us how they're reacting there. >> we're seeing japan take a defensive posture, a more defensive posture than we have seen in the past because of the specificity of that guam threat from north korea. we spoke to the ministry of defense and they told us that as we are speaking, in the overnight hours here in tokyo, daytime there in the united states, they are moving these ground based missile intercept ors, they're moving them from central japan where they're currently housed in a military base and moving to those prefekt ors that the north koreans specifically said missiles may fly over while they head to guam. the japanese placing these intercept ors there just in case
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they come close to jan pan. we're seeing a more defensive posture from russia. we're hearing via russian state media they are beefing up the defenses because of the north korean threat. >> cwill ripley said the more concerning thing was earlier this week when north korea talked about this detailed plan and this missile getting closer to japan, that is primarily the concern there in japan and has really stood out to them as something different than just the normal rhetoric, right? >> absolutely. it's very specific. and the fact that these missiles were going to fly over certain prefectures is what's causing alarm. that's really the game changer here as far as the defensive posture. >> it wouldn't be the first time north korea had sent missiles over japan. they haven't done it recently,
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but they have done it before. again, it gets you into this uncomfortable reckoning of what words portend action and what words are just hot talk. let's bring in our cnn panel here. politics reporter, editor at large chris se lcelizza, john avalon, and john kirby. you were in this fray and you lived this. now you're being blamed for it as part of the obama administration. let's start with that. president trump's criticism that president presidents, including obama, were weak. obama specifically as president wouldn't even talk about it. the president's quote, i will talk. it needs to be done. >> well, oversimplified, president obama wasn't afraid to talk about the problem with north korea. he presided in just the last year of his administration over the toughest international sanctions ever enacted against
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the regime and he worked his problem very hard for the entire eight years as did his two predecessors. president trump seis not wrong when he complains about the fact that he inherited a much more accelerated program. he's right to be concern ed abot that. but going back and just blaming past presidents is i think -- it's just a ridiculous kind of thing to do because this is a problem that the whole international community has been facing. >> so can you speak to that, though? you look at -- i think a lot of people who haven't been following north korea look at the last 25 years and they say well, nothing did happen. especially supporters of donald trump. other administrations were not able to make progress. then you have experts who say there's only one way to pursue things with north korea. >> you're dealing with a nation like none other which is sort of the last cult on earth. it has been moving towards nuclear weapons because from
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their perspective that's the only success of the regime's success. and look, when bill clinton announced to the world that the deal he and secretary perry made and would make it so that basically the north korea would denuclearize, clearly that did not happen. but what you have is an administration trying to delay as best they can. i think the trump administration and the national security team deserves credit for trying to not have strategic patience and instead really confront this problem with a sense of urgency because we've gotten to the place where a nuclear armed icbm could threaten an american city. they're been taking a much more aggressive tack. they deserve some credit. the problem is the president launching up the rhetoric, with the nou -- creates a real danger for
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the world. one of the big questions is does that draw china in? you can project and hope there's a degree of strategy to it. the problem is we consistently see strategy being made srnd the president's reckless comments, not being to be a vehicle for strategy. >> what -- john's 100% right. you see always the strategy and the policy moving on, certainly defensible ground. liberals might not like it. respect preside republican president is going to do certain things. then trump moves along. it's along to the right, up, do down, and that's what's difficult. the policy is dealing with the new reality of a nuclearized north korea. the rhetoric and what he says and how he provokes purposely i think doesn't necessarily mesh
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with the policy, but then the policy has to be bent to fit somewhere in the same universe as the rhetoric. this happens a lot with him. it's not just north korea. but it does make it difficult to sort of marry those two. the strategy and the policy that's going underneath the surface. it's like a glacier. his statements are important but it's just the top. there's a lot of diplomacy going on below it, but the top of it impacts what happens below. i think he understands that. but i don't think he understands fully the impact of what he just says stuff, what that means from a strategic and policy perspective. and it leaves people scrambling to try to figure out to architect policy around it. >> john? >> i'll tell you, i think he's -- i'll piggy back on that, he's undermining all the good work his team is trying to do. i agree this is one of the national security issues,
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probably the only one that i think his team has really handled with deliberate thoughtful measured work. and when he goes out there and he says these things, he's actually undermining their efforts. you heard secretary mattis in that clip we just played really trying to walk this back and really making it clear that from his perspective he wants diplomacy to lead and that he still believes there's room for that. every time the president gets up and says fire and fury and he'll see, he's actually taking oxygen away from that effort and frankly, chris, he's closing down his own decision space. he's actually removing from his quiver arrows of choices he has going forward. >> that's my concern that i don't get yet. what's your take on this? i get tough talk. i get that he'll be congratulated for it by certain sectors. but what happens if you have to act here? every military expert tells us you have no good option. >> and on syria he was able to have a certain rhetoric and then
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there was an action. but north korea isn't syria. so you can't follow that same game plan with a north korea. you can't just, you know, strike an airstrip even with a nonnuclear weapon and then just see how it goes, right? you can't do that. >> fire and fury, right, is not a policy. i mean, again, this is the issue. what does that mean? you'll see. we'll see. >> it's a threat. >> right. how else can you take it? but then you have mattis and tillerson saying there's no change in the region. >> it could be nonnuclear, but does that matter? why would dow that? >> this is the problem with trump. even if he doesn't mean, nuclear, even if that was not his intent, reasonable people could think that. >> he did say very few countries have seen. >> like the world has never seen. >> yeah. >> but it only matters specifically, yes, i get china and i get this could be a great
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provocation to china to say as you said, we want stability more than anything else, so we will do "x" which they haven't done. that would be an amazing conclusion. it matters what north korea thinks. here's their statement. and their response to the rhetoric. do we have the statement to put out? wait for it. wait for it. we should play some light music. look, i'll characterize it for you. there it is. trump is driving the situation on the korean peninsula to the brink of a nuclear war. making such out cries as the u.s. will not rule out a war against the dprk. john kirby, i understand and i've read my history, i get that hyperbole is part of the status quo. however, it does seem as though this is action and reaction. is it a little bit more dangerous in this context, or is this more of the same? >> i've got to tell you when i looked at that statement i was actually a little pleasantly surprised it was as measured as
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it is given to where the rhetoric got to yesterday and in the wake of the korean's army, the general's very specific threat to guam. so it is more in line with typical north korean statements. i think we can take a little cold comfort in that. but it doesn't mean at all that the tensions are any real -- any less in any significant way as far as i'm concerned. >> john, chris, john, thank you. also it makes you wonder if in a way is it seeding leadership to china if you're expecting them to come in and be the measured ones? >> everybody says they have the most leverage. china is a big player on the world stage. maybe it is time for them to step up and do their part. >> that time has passed. they're not going to be bullied. this is the other thing. bully president xi does not work. i do hope china will step in. they have more influence than any other nation in the world and they have not been willing to exert, but they're not going to be bullied into doing
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something. >> gentlemen, thank you very much. >> north korea gave its latest response. we just read it to you. what should the u.s. response be? our next guest says it's time to lower the temperature. "new york time "new york time "new york times" columnist, he feeds your brain every time he is on. he is on next. before it ends. choose from the is turbo, es 350 or nx turbo for $299 a month for 36 months if you lease now. experience amazing at your lexus dealer. looking for a hotel that fits... whoooo. ...your budget? tripadvisor now searches over... ...200 sites to find you the... ...hotel you want at the lowest price. grazi, gino! find a price that fits. tripadvisor. itwhat's possible.nk rethink the experience. rethink your allergy pills. flonase sensimist allergy relief
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introducing xfinity mobile. a new kind of network designed to save you money. hyperbole. quiv . north korea responding to president trump's threats in a dramatic new statement released moments ago. north korea state news agency saying, quote, trump is driving the situation on the korean peninsula to the brink of a nuclear war making such out cries as, quote, the u.s. will not rule out a war against the dprk. thomas freedman joins us now. he is the author of "thank you for being late, an optimist's guide to thriving in the age of accelerations." tom, good to have you back on the show. >> great to be with you. >> give us some perspective here. we're trying to balance what seems like very scary talk with the context of hyperbole being something north korea has practiced but now with the
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introduction of hyperbole on the part of the united states, what are we to make of this dynamic? >> let's start off by talking about what's new and what's not new. what's new is that north korea has developed missiles that are intercontinental that can hit the territory of the united states. what's new is that they seem to have perfected the ability to put a warhead on those missiles. what sent new is they don't have a warhead that seems to not burn up on re-entry. but they're moving in a direction to be able to threaten the united states with a nuclear weapon. what is not new, though, i believe, is that the idea that north korea thinks it can launch one of those weapons and survive an attack. in other words, it would be an act of suicide. what's not new is the united states doesn't believe it can pre-e. such an attack without killing millions of people on the korean peninsula including americans. that's what's new and what isn't new. given that fact, it seems to me
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the only rational long-term strategy of the united states is to, one, deter the north koreans by our on anti-missile systems and to tighten the economic sanctions so they will stop testing these missiles and ultimately agree to a denuclearization deal. i think the best way to go about doing that is by putting on the table a peace offering to the nou north korea ans. if you end your muscle program, we will offer you peace, full engagement, economic aid and an end to the korean war. if you don't we will tighten the economic sanctions and by putting this plan on the table, the entire world would see who is the person who is actually threatening the stability of the korean peninsula. that then would keep russia, china, the japanese and the south koreans all on our side which will make the sanctions even stronger.
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that's how you really mess up the north koreans. i think we play into their hands when you engage in a tit for tat prior and brim stone threats which ultimately i think have no long term sustain ability. >> do you see president trump making that pivot from the rhetoric that we've been hearing here in the last couple of days and being able -- he did say he didn't take negotiations off the table. we heard that yesterday. do you think that he can abandon what has been very fiery as he put it rhetoric and move towards a more productive strategy? it doesn't necessarily seem to be in tune with his style. >> there's no question president trump is not the one who caused this situation in north korea. it's been a bipartisan effort of republican and democratic administrations over time. it can be unbuilt i think
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patiently over a long time. i don't mind ratcheting up the rhetoric to some degree to alert the world that this is a very dangerous situation. but that rhetoric has to be tied to a long-term strategy. both military of building up or anti-missile deterrents and diplomatic of enlisting more and more of the world particular lie china, japan and south korea. that's what ultimately threatens that regime and puts a choice before them of either you del e denuclearize or you really will run out of money. what plays to their strength is if we look just like we're equals, two crazy men threatening with each other with fire and brim staone.
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>> here's what i don't get. why hasn't that been tried? if it has been tried, why hasn't it worked? >> it's a good question, chris. we have never actually put a full-fledged treaty on the table. we've never gone to that length so far. it has to do with a worry by some administrations that some of that would look weak on our part. i think it would be an incredible source of strength. what i'm describing to you, chris, is actually the bottom line of the diplomacy we've been trying for all along. always been implicit in our position that if the north koreans denuclearized and end this threat, we are ready to end the korean war, which has been open since now its inception. we're just in an armistice. i'm saying make it explicit because that explicit declaration that we are ready to end the war with you, open an
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embassy in pyongyang, engage in economic trade, et cetera, that is precisely what will give us the moral high ground to sustain sanctions for a long, long time. then the chinese can't say we're the threat or the rugs. we've actually got the russians and chinese on our side. we want to keep them there. we want to create a situation where north korea looks around and the entire world, including its neighbors are against it. it's under tighter and tighter sanctions noose. >> how does that work and i wonder what the kim regime would think about that idea, tom? because wouldn't they be looking at china and saying opening up economically, opening up diplomatically, look at what's happened to china. certainly you still have a communist regime there. but arguably there could be in north korea if you do open up diplomatically and economically, then you're opening up what is a her m hermit kingdom allowing north koreans to see the outside world
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and realizing that things are not as their government has been telling them. >> sure. i have very little beliefs the north koreans would accept such an offer in the near term. but this is what b whis a long sustainable strategy? what it does do is give us the moral and strategic high ground to sustain economic sanctions for a very long time. that puts us in a much stronger position than we are right now. >> so thomas, you have succeeded where others have failed this morning. what you've said has procmpted response from the president. he just tweeted. he says the following. military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded. should north korea act unwisely? hopefully kim jong-un will find another path. so what is the virtue here?
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this speaks to the potential virtue of tough talk eliciting action, whether that's on the part of china and russia as we saw at the u.n. security council where they voted for this latest round of sanctions. that may be matching rhetoric with the mad man will make him think that you're speaking his language and maybe it will create some kind of progress. that's what the president is suggesting. do you agree? >> well, chris, i think you have to have a carrot and stick approach. the president put out some verbal sticks that made it very clear that this is a very dangerous situation and it does need to be taken seriously. to me, though, now you want to put the carrot next to it that basically does one of two things. either the north koreans bite on it or creates a situation where the entire world will see that this is a regime that wants
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nuclear weapons more than it wants even sustainability. that we are offering it to pull regime change off the table. to engage in diplomatic relations, to recognize the regime. the most important is we got into this situation over many decades. it's not going to be resolved tomorrow. the questions you raised are legitimate. why would north korea accept it? well, they're not going to accept it tomorrow. what we need is a long-term strategy that gives us the moral high ground because we put a full peace treaty on the table. if they relinquish their nuclear threat and gives us the strategic high ground because we surround them with missile defenses and create a situation on the world stage where everybody is with us. maybe tomorrow or the next day, but over time that will change the calculations in north korea. that's what you want to do. ultimately this has to come from within. the other thing i like about this strategy is that it's an american strategy. we're not sitting around waiting for china to save our bacon.
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this puts us and president trump right in the driver's seat. and so i think it's the best long-term strategy i can conceive of. >> tom, stay with us, sir. up next, you predict the president could become more popular despite historically low approval numbers. explain that. he's going to next. are made with smarttrack®igners material to precisely move your teeth to your best smile. see how invisalign® treatment can shape your smile up to 50% faster today at invisalign.com why should over two hundred years of citi history matter to you? well, because it tells us something powerful about progress: that whether times are good or bad, people and their ideas will continue to move the world forward. as long as they have someone to believe in them. citi financed the transatlantic cable that connected continents. and the panama canal, ti
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. the latest target of the president's twitter attacks is senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. so does the president think mcconnell should step down? >> well, i'll tell you what, if he doesn't get repeal and replace done, and if he doesn't get taxes done, meaning cuts and reform, and if he doesn't get a very easy one to get done infrastructure, he doesn't get them done, then you can ask me that question. >> let's bring back "new york times" columnist thomas frreedmn has been tweeting and retweeting stories that have been negative about mitch mcconnell. he wants to be heard time and
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again, tom. what do you make of this back and forth but really there's a lot more coming from the president. >> well, you know, the president seems to believe that he's a monarch. not a president. that he rein, he doesn't govern. he has demanded that the senate produce repeal and replace on obamacare. and then sits up in bedmimster and waits to deliver as if he has no role. no aid in his administration coming up with a plan to repeal and replace. the health care industry, the experts and cbo would believe is implementable. and then no role in going out and generating public support for it because clearly the public supports obamacare still. and no role in shaping the political order in the senate and the house to produce the majority. so he's acting like a monarch
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and his senate majority leader isn't delivering so off with his head. it's good work if you get it, but it may have worked in france, you know, in the 18th century, but it's not likely to work here. >> just to play with the metaphor a little bit, it's not a shout across the bow. it's at the water line. the question is whether or not he thinks it will sink him or torpedo him, again, whether that works politically is one type of battle. i do want to bring you back for a second to remind every if they're just tuning in right now what has happened on our watch. the president had used heightened language that fire and fury may not have gone far enough. the dprc, north korea has responded. they're saying that the president has pushed this situation to the brink of nuclear war. okay. here's their statement. now, some had seen this as
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actually a guide sign, that they had been measured by north korean terms in terms of what they said. doesn't sound so measured. the just tweeted military solutions are fully in place, locked and loaded should north korea act unwisely. hopefully kim jong-un will find another path. part of the confusion is we're not used to the american president matching madness with north korea. we're going to do this to you and i'm going to do that to you. we're not used to that. but is there a way it could be effective? is there a chance that the president using the language of a mad man to a mad man could be effective? you're speaking his language. maybe it will get you somewhere. >> chris, i'm not ready to rule that out. i mean, the president sounding the alarm bell on this is not an entirely bad thing. i'm not ready to rule out that we've gotten china and north korea's attention. but the danger is if they stare
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him coldly back in the eye and say we're not blinking because we don't really believe that the fundamentals of this story have changed. and that is we are not going to initiate a nuclear strike on the united states because our north korean regime is homicidal, not suicidal. this family has not survived for three generations by being suicidal. and the other thing that hasn't changed is that the united states cannot initiate a first strike against north korea without risking tens of millions of people, including americans on the korean peninsula. if that's the case, then you want a very quickly marry your very heated rhetoric, which i don't disagree with in principle, with a real plan that north korea either would bite on diplomatically where the whole world sees north korea as a problem and they sign up for
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tighter and tighter sanctions. so higher rhetoric is necessary for your diplomacy, but it's not sufficient. and maybe the president's tweet and who knows what he's thinking and how much of this is even vetted in a strategic way, is the beginning of a shift in tone. i don't know. we'll have to see how the day evolves. >> as always, tom, you have a very interesting take and this time it is on what donald trump can do to be more popular. you say, quote, every character flaw he had before taking office from his cereal line to his laziness to himself and his needs has grown larger and more toxic as he has been president. with that in mind as you say that, what can he do to be more popular if you think there's a path? >> i'm not his popularity coach and i don't care one way or the other myself. my point is simply with the dow at 22,000 or was before this week and unemployment at 3%, you have to draw up a plan to fail
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as president. that is politically. this is a guy who's been leaking oil according to the polls politically for the last seven months. so it seems to me that one thing i think democrats have to be careful of is that if you're just counting on bob mueller to take him down or just counting on him to remain ridiculous and throwaway, you know, the fact that the stock market is doing so well, that unemployment is doing so well and continue losing support, that's a dangerous strategy. ultimately democrats need a compelling program and they need a compelling leader. the idea that they can get power back on the cheap i think would be -- it may happen. trump may be so out of control. the point i was making in that column is that a friend of mine was telling me that when a leader takes power, one of two things happen. they either grow in office or they swell in office. up to now trump has swollen. it has swollen all of his bad character traits. but he brought in john kelly and
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i think the democrats better be careful. maybe, maybe he will make him grow. early signs are not good. but i wouldn't simply rely on bob mueller and trump's madness for a political strategy. i think ultimately democrats have to win the argument with the american people that they have better ideas. as i said in that column, some things are true even if donald trump believes them. it would be wise for democrats to say one of the things that are true, even if he believes them, one of the things we want that are true even if we believe him. for instance, obamacare is popular right now. the biggest win states in this country are all red states. so environmentalism is still popular. and how do the democrats get a hearing on the things that are true even though they believe them? i think that's a very important long-term strategy they have to think about as well. trump can make you stupid. he can make you stupid as a journalist because anything you write about him gets attention.
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and he can make you stiupid as po politician. you just drive by the white house and say donald trump and everybody laughs. over time that gets the press in trouble and politicians in trouble. >> as we've learned, a lot of politics is momentum. one of the virtues of terrible poll number system incredible room for growth. >> exactly. >> tom, you are value added, my friend. thank you for making our friday. appreciate it. >> really appreciate it. thanks for having me. so the president is taking on his opponents in veexcellent fashion as he sees it. that means north korea, mitch mcconnell. in fact, he's doing it at the same time. is this working for him? sets up a beautiful debate. we have it for you next. my experience with usaa has been excellent.
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all right. we have had a lot of action on the back of the president's words. this morning we've had his ratcheting up of rhetoric with north korea provoke a response, and then a response again from the president. the president just tweeted in response to north korea saying that he was pushing the situation to the brink of nuclear war. he said this, military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded should north korea act unwisely. hopefully kim jong-un will find another path. also, he's been retweeting
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articles about another opponent, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, and taking him on for blaming him for not getting the gop agenda moving. let's discuss the effectiveness of these tactics. we've got cnn political commentators ana navarro and mike shields. let's start with north korea because it has existential implications. obama wouldn't even talk about this, that's not completely true, but look, the situation has gotten worse. he says i will talk the talk. and it does seem to be provoking responses from north korea. do you believe this is working for the president and for the united states? >> well, the question is working with who. if the question is is it working with his base? absolutely. i think a large part of the republican base likes the bluster, wants to have a very strong position, wants that position projected not just in their minds but actually articulated and i think he's doing very well with the base. you see him doubling down on this because it's doing well with the base. same as with the mitch mcconnell thing. he likes to please that base.
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we've seen anything in the last six-plus months with donald trump is that he cares about what the base thinks. he caters to them. he promotes their loyalty. and they for the large part are remaining loyal. the rest of us in america might be scared, might be apoplectic, might wake up every morning wondering with a fear what we're going to see when we look up twitter, have we gone into war, what is he dragging us into. to me it sounds like a yo-momma contest between the guy from north korea and the guy from the united states that's going to end up in what? what is the end game here? when are either of these two bluster filled bravado filled ginormous ego filled two men going to stop and make this something that's got a real ending? so is it working with his base? yes. is it working for the rest of us, we're yet to see. >> mike, you have it going from fire -- fiery -- >> fire and fury. >> fire and fury. now it's locked and loaded.
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he's not backing away from it as ana is saying there, but it makes you wonder if these are just going to be throwaway words that are bluster and don't mean a lot, or are these words that could go down in history at some point? >> well, look, let's see how we got here. i mean, it wasn't just the republican base. the country elected a president they wanted to have a stronger position in foreign policy. we had weakness, leading from behind for the last eight years with the last president and the country wanted someone who projected strength. so this administration actually has a policy they're following which is era of strategic patience with north korea is over. and one of the things that liberals -- i listened to thomas friedman, really interesting, but one thing liberals never seem to understand is diplomacy just by words and sort of for the sake of diplomacy is what got us here in the first place. bill clinton gave the north korean regime $4 billion of american money to help them buy energy to try and hold that
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carrot out there that thomas was talking about. finally we have a president that says we're not doing that aymore. and diplomacy will not work unless you back it up with strength. unless they believe there's a credible threat -- >> mike, what does that mean though? >> we haven't done anything to stop this guy. >> i hear you. and with all due respect, i have heard it from other people on the right as well. i like it. it's strong. we need to be strong. but this isn't battling with the democrats. what if you do have to do something? every military expert says the same thing, i don't need to lecture you about this, they say there are no good options. there are options, america's might is unquestionable, but what do you do to back up your words if it comes to that? shouldn't that be part of the calculation here? >> well, sure. he's communicating with a crazy dictator in north korea who's firing missiles at our allies and threatening to attack the united states of america. if he doesn't respond strongly -- his reaction to that is, you know what, now that you fired a missile near our allies
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and you might threaten guam or alaska, why don't we have a negotiation so we'll give you something more for what you want. that tells iran, a lot of regimes around the world the way to get things from us is to start acting crazy and threatening the rest of the world. by saying, no, we're not going to do that anymore, your actions have consequences that are going to be destructive for you. and now we're going to have to bring your allies into the conversation and push back on them. it's actually a very strategic way to take a diplomatic approach by having strength before your diplomatic words. and that's a new policy. and it's a policy that -- look, we've tried everything else. >> mike, i want to get ana in here before we have to go. >> sure. >> my question on that is, is that a belated conversation to have given where north korea is now with its nuclear program? i mean, five years ago maybe. now? what do you think? >> look, we are where we are. and i think one of the things that gives me some comfort level is the idea that he's got very strong, very measured combat
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veterans like john kelly, like mattis, around him, who hopefully are taking a serious look at this. donald trump has no idea what he's doing. let's not even pretend that he does. this is a guy who went to military school and thinks that makes him a military expert. as far as i'm concerned, it's like he's playing battleship in between golf games at his golf course. but he does -- he did have the wherewithal of getting some very seasoned combat veterans who do understand the world around him. and hopefully they will have an influence on what's happening. >> ana and mike, thank you so much to both of you. strong words from north korea to the u.s. and president trump responding with a new threat. we have the breaking developments covered around the globe. stick with us. progressive gives you options based on your budget. [ gasps, laughs ] you ever feel like... cliché foil characters scheming against a top insurer for no reason? nah. so, why don't we like flo? she has the name your price tool, and we want it. but why? why don't we actually do any work? why do you only own one suit?
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